The short list of finalists for the 2014 ‘Green Car of the Year’ award have been announced, an accolade that distinguishes vehicles that are efficient and make efforts to reduce environmental impact.
The Audi A6 TDI, BMW 328d, Honda Accord, Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla have all been selected as contenders for this year’s award. The award will be presented at the 2013 L.A. Auto Show on November 20. Among the judges, there will be comedian and celebrity car enthusiast Jay Leno, Ocean Futures Society president Jean-Michel Cousteau and Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.
Along with achievements in improving environmental impact, the car chosen to win the award will also be judged on its availability to the mass car market. The judges want to ensure that not only the technology is raising the bar, but the car will actually make it into enough customer’s driveways to make a difference. Finalists also had to be on sale as of January 1, 2014.
Both the German entrants on the list, the Audi A6 TDI and BMW 328d, turn to diesel to improve efficiency, while the other three rely on small four-cylinder engines. The Honda Accord is the only car on the list to offer a proper hybrid version along with a plug-in hybrid variant, although the Mazda3 can be had with the brand’s i-ELOOP regenerative braking system.